Advice Needed / Major Manga / Anime Collection Aquisition

I posted this as a comment on the Wednesday Open Forum … but I thought I’d maybe try for some guidance here as well ::

I had a call this morning from a major collector of Anime / Manga figurines that date from 1999 to 2007 … he estimated 20,000 pieces … wife / kids now, wants to sell, typical story … at any rate, I’ve bought very large collections before but I am really out of my depth as it relates to Anime / Manga figures … he claims most all of these came direct from Japan prior to there being wide USA distribution as there is today …

The Owner is about 45 minutes away from my Shop and is willing to load it all up in a covered trailer and haul it to me …

My Shop has, for half a Lifetime, specialized in Comics, New and Old, AD&D, New and Old, Toys such as Old GI Joe, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc … I am not known as a purveyor of the Manga / Anime Figure genre … so, I suppose, these would primarily become eBay items if I made a deal with the seller … it’s a long term selling commitment for me, and I’ve been in this position before, just never with this type material … the Law of Averages tells me if I can buy it right, I’ll come out OK … but, it’s still a crap shoot for me … I do not follow this Market and tend to think it’s fairly specialized …

It’s just impossible to go thru each and every piece and determine value without resorting to eBay sold lookup, which would take forever, so a Bulk Deal Price would have to be established that is acceptable to me and the seller, similar to what I would do with a Comic Collection of 20 Long Boxes … so, my question to the Collective ::

Is this stuff popular … ?? Worth the time to try and make a deal … ??

Advice on how to proceed … ??

Thanks for any Guidance … Willie :vulcan_salute:

All depends on the figures and the vintage and your clientele. Not to sound racist, but magna is very popular with Asian culture.

Popular items would be robotic, one piece, sailor moon. As for value, it’s hard to tell. It’s all over the place. Japanese “variants” are more dollar value than the American counter parts.

If I was going to buy a toy collection, I would ask the seller what anime/ manga figures he has the most of and do a quick eBay search of just the title.

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1999-2007…many of the currently popular anime wouldn’t have been out back then so you’d be hoping to find stuff from:

dragonball Z
one piece
gundam (primarily sealed unassembled model kits)
sailor moon
saint seya

pretty much any scantily clad female character as well

robotech is a very very dangerous topic to bring up with “hardcore” anime fans…while the more reasonable ones will simply hate harmony gold…the less reasonable ones go nuts at the mere mention of robotech instead of macross (it goes way beyond preferring subtitled anime to english dubbed anime). there are also robotech fans who go berserk over the mention of macross…so overall its probably the most dangerous type of anime merch to carry if you don’t like drama.

outside of the gundam model kits a lot of the figures probably won’t be worth much. if its 20,000 pieces odds are smaller figures…the larger ones (from japan) tend to be the ones that hold value better. theres always exceptions, but asking about the size of the figures as well as what anime they’re from would probably be the best 2 questions with a purchase that large. if you’re selling them, you’ll likely need to be able to ID them if they aren’t in their boxes/packaging and if you have to ID 20k figures…that may be too much time…so probably a good idea to ask if they’re in their original packaging as well.

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Sounds like if it’s outside your area of expertise, you should probably pass on it and let it go to someone who knows that market. It’s too easy to under pay shortening the seller a fair price and it’s too easy to overpay making it something you regret.

Meet him in the middle and offer a consignment type arrangement. You pay nothing up front, he gets a % of each sale he can pick up weekly, monthly or have PayPaled or such. If he finds a better deal he can come pick up and take it elsewhere with reasonable notice.

That keeps either of you from getting shorted.

PS: Han Solo Star Wars cases on Diamond’s clearance list today cheap enough to sell the figures to the kids under $5 each.

In my Shop, the Seller determines what they are willing to accept … if it seems reasonable to me, I pay them and work up a Receipt … take a copy of their DL, etc …

If it does not seem reasonable, I politely tell them they would be better off selling the material themselves on eBay / Craigslist / or another Shop … and offer them suggestions on other Shops within a reasonable distance …

I do not try to beat them down, never have … I offer constructive advice on selling it on their own, explain the need for me to make a profit, etc … oddly, in 90% of the cases, the seller then beats themselves down without any prompting from me … a Fair Price is what a Seller is willing to accept and a Retailer is willing to pay …

When dealing with any collection of anything that’s this large, no matter my expertise on the goods, there will be a large number of items that are essentially trash or Garage Sale material …

I’ve been there many times.

There’s always low grade/garabage/unsellable stuff. There’s also the chance something is incredibly valuable and neither of you are aware of it until you do the work. Fair means that if it’s garbage you both find out and make little or nothing. If there’s a Gold Vein both of you come out ahead.

An easy example, I was asked to make an offer on some comics from the 50’s I knew nothing about. No copies for sale to make a quick reference. I offered some of the rent money which was all I could afford at the time for a cash purchase up front. They said yes.

About an hour later I realized one of the comics was the 1st Martian Manhunter. I was rushed and in a hurry to get the rent back so I tossed it online for $500 thinking I’d have time to look it up later. Something happened and knocked the internet down and by the time I was back online later that day it’d already sold.

The reseller had it on E-Bay at $2,400 a week later!

Now if I’d gone the consignment route both me and the customer would have made more off that one book selling it at much less than that than we did on the deal as a whole!!! I wouldn’t have been in a rush to try and get the rent back together and could have taken my time researching it more and getting it out there at a better price netting us both more in the long run.

I always get buyers regret when a deal starts to climb into way more resell than I’d guessed at. Those people would have wanted more if I’d had any idea it was worth more.

You’re kidding, right … ?? Consignment is a Joke … in the case of the Collection I posted about, as I noted, I am not known as a Shop that deals in this material … thus, I would be offering what’s worth offering on eBay … so, I take the risk, I pay eBay and Paypal fees, I take the Income Tax addition, I go thru the work of shipping, I take the risk of an “Item Not as Described” claim, I take the pictures, I work up the eBay description … and, I do the research …

What should the seller end up netting when they come to collect some money … ?? This is precisely why I tell them they are better off selling it themselves on eBay, etc …

Now, if I lived in Mom’s basement and subsisted off of Bags of Doritos and Big Gulp Mountain Dews, with nothing better to do … :vulcan_salute:

If you’re not familiar with the product that is being offered you may want to pass. Seems like a large collection and if you don’t have an expertise on any of what is for sale you may be holding on to most of it for a long, long while. That being said, if the price is right and the seller doesn’t mind letting it go on the cheap you may be able to profit even if you have to learn as you go. I guess it really depends on if you have enough financial wiggle room to take a hit if you aren’t able to sell these items in a reasonable amount of time.

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50%, maybe more on higher end items. It’s not as much as they’d get doing it themselves on E-bay but you end up getting maybe 35% for your trouble bottom line after expenses.

I approach everything as how I would want to be treated as a customer. It’s a sad reflection on the hobby as a whole that people spend their entire lives collecting stuff but waiting too long to pull the trigger. Frequently that leaves others making decisions about items they knew nothing about. That leaves them unprepared for how or what to do with the items.

A typical example.
Comic long boxes filled with assorted back issues usually sell for around $25 to $50 a box.

The same box on consignment with every comic listed at say a dollar and the one’s that end up worth more would sell for over $220, maybe a whole lot more if we missed something. That puts minimum of $110 a long box in the customers hands over time. Frequently a lot more than that since it’s easy to miss stuff that has gone up recently or is a title or variant you’ve never seen while trying to throw together an offer in minutes. I adjust over time for sudden market increases if they happen and the consignments still here so we both make more.

My time is my investment. My risk is storing, insuring the building, running the AC/heat/dehumidity, shipping/customer relation etc. Sure I could make more trying to lowball on the boxes but it makes me feel good to know that we’re both getting a fair deal. If I made a mistake or underestimated, you’re still going to get fair treatment and that’s what you or the original owner that left it to you really wanted in the first place.

This coming from the guy that defends marking up new books right out of the box …

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But but… he’s “saving them money”… :wink:

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Yeah, in my World, we call that Full of Shit, pretty much like the above “advice” … sorry, you may delete or censure me for the language … I just can’t help it …

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Nah, we’re all adults.

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That’s how I would want to be treated. It’s not full of anything. If I’m jumping in the car and driving 30 minutes or an hour to come shop and hoping it’s there I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra knowing it was there when I wanted it. It saves me having wasted my time and gas coming to look for it and saves me having to pay higher prices elsewhere while being delayed in getting it waiting on the mail.

You don’t have to like the idea. Last thing I want to hear is it sold out to the 1st 2 people in the door Wednesday while I was working. When I first got back into comics that’s exactly what would happen at this one store. They had a Facebook style group where they used the message making fun of the old couple that used to just drop stacks of comics on a table Wednesday morning. By the time I could shop Saturday the resellers had cleaned them out forcing me to have to rescue keys at higher online prices which gradually led me to getting into the selling side myself.

Consignment guarantee’s you make money and guarantee’s the customer makes money. I have thousands of comics in right now on consignment. Individually they take on brief investments of time to grade, list and store until sold. It also guarantee’s you don’t lose money or get stuck with junk that want sell and isn’t worth your time. Keep’s your investment risk low as well leaving capital available for other investments.

I didn’t invent consignment. It’s a viable way of handling a situation like you describe when you profess to not have the knowledge and experience needed and the customer may not. Consignment shops are all over the place. You pick the price, they pick the price and dozens of variations and % catered to the needs of the individuals involved.

Here’s how I’d like to be treated :: Please refrain from adding your essentially worthless, self-righteous commentary in reply to any comment I may make on CHU …

You do things your way, that’s fine … good luck to you …

We are more liberal on the forums. The regular site is censored.

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psst… lummox, can I have some of that popcorn?